THE STANWOOD-HILLSON CORPORATION
Calendars and Advertising Novelties
AUGUST 28, 1939
MRS. ELEANOR ROOSEVELT
THE WHITE HOUSE
MY DEAR MRS. ROOSEVELT:
IN ANSWER TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 24, I DESIRE TO STATE THAT IN THESE TRAGIC TIMES IT MAY SEEM ABSURD FOR A CALENDAR MANUFACTURER TO BOTHER THE PRESIDENT AND HIS WIFE ABOUT THE PROPOSED CHANGE OF THE THANKSGIVING DATE, BUT THE PLAN UNFORTUNATELY AFFECTS HUNDREDS OF FIRMS ENGAGED IN THE MANUFACTURE OF CALENDARS.
SOME CUSTOMERS HAVE ALREADY INDICATED THAT THEY WILL NOT ACCEPT THEIR CALENDARS IF THE CORRECT THANKSGIVING DATE DOES NOT APPEAR ON THE CALENDARS. IF ANY ATTEMPT IS MADE TO CHANGE THE THANKSGIVING DATE, CONFUSION WILL RESULT.
ALL OF THE GOVERNORS OF NEW ENGLAND HAVE ANNOUNCED THAT THE LAST THURSDAY IN NOVEMBER WILL, AS USUAL, BE THE THANKSGIVING DATE.
I HAVE A LETTER FROM GOVERNOR LEON PHILLIPS OF OKLAHOMA, WHO WRITES THAT, SO FAR AS HE IS CONCERNED, THANKSGIVING DAY WILL BE ON NOV 30TH, AND I HAVE SIMILAR LETTERS FROM OTHER GOVERNORS.
CALENDAR MANUFACTURE RES ARE CONFRONTED WITH A SERIOUS LOSS, IF THE THANKSGIVING DAY WILL BE CHANGED THIS YEAR OR NEXT YEAR.
I ENCLOSE A COPY OF A LETTER THAT WAS ADDRESSED TO THE ADVERTISING SPECIALTY NATIONAL ASSOCIATION BY A LARGE MANUFACTURER OF CALENDARS. PERHAPS THIS LETTER WILL MORE CLEARLY AMPLIFY OUR VIEWPOINT.
VERY TRULY YOURS,
THE STANWOOD-HILLSON CORP. BY
S. HILLSON, PRES.
State Archives of Florida: Series S368, Box 91, Folder 5
Letters between Russell M. Searle, E.J. Barklow, President Franklin Roosevelt, S. Hillson, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Florida Governor Fred P. Cone regarding the Thanksgiving proclamation made by President Roosevelt moving the date of the holiday up one week.
In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation moving the Thanksgiving holiday from the last Thursday of November to the second to last Thursday of the month to extend the holiday shopping season. The holiday was changed from November 30, the last day of the month, to November 23. Thirty-two states issued similar proclamations, but 16 states refused to make the change. Florida Governor Fred P. Cone decided not to move the date forward and left the holiday on its traditional day. The governor's decision received both praise and opposition, with many wanting to keep with tradition, while others criticized the governor for creating confusion throughout the state. Many Florida organizations chose one date to celebrate the holiday, while others recognized both days as Thanksgiving. The dispute remained unresolved in 1940 and 1941. The issue was finally settled on December 26, 1941, when President Roosevelt signed a joint resolution declaring the fourth Thursday in November as the Federal Thanksgiving Day holiday.